Doug Parker and John Marsham have been successful in securing funding to advance early warnings of high-impact weather in Southern Africa. The project has been awarded by the Met Office as part of the Weather and Climate Information Services (WISER) programme, commissioned on behalf of the UK government’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO).
The WISER-EWSA (Early Warnings for Southern Africa) project will run until June 2025 and is an international partnership including the weather services of South Africa, Zambia and Mozambique. The work will focus on the needs of vulnerable people in urban areas, working with communities to improve the effectiveness of warnings of heavy rain and floods. In particular, WISER-EWSA will innovate in "nowcasting" of storms, which can provide, over timescales of a couple of hours, much more accurate estimates of rainfall location and timing than is possible with conventional weather forecasts. The challenge will be to get these storm warnings to people in less than an hour, so that they have time to respond.
The project is transdisciplinary, bringing together statistical solutions for predicting the future movement of storms; technical innovation in data handling and communications; the social science and psychology of forecast-based decision-making; and an economic analysis of the sustainability of early-warning systems.
Douglas Parker University profile: https://environment.leeds.ac.uk/see/staff/1469/professor-douglas-parker
John Marsham University profile: https://environment.leeds.ac.uk/see/staff/1398/prof-john-marsham